Calibrating Samsung SUR40 for Microsoft® Surface®

I’m glad to see so many people excited to get their Samsung SUR40 for Microsoft Surface (“SUR40”) units delivered. SUR40 is reaching customers in over 20 countries right now, and some of the unboxing videos, like this one, have been really fun to watch. I’ve also seen that a few people have questions about when to use the Calibration Tool found on the desktop. Hopefully I can help clarify those questions:

Calibration instructions are available in the Microsoft Surface 2.0 Administration Guide (located here). One of the most important things to note is that you should always have a proper calibration board when calibrating.

If you try to calibrate without the board, you’ll likely mess up your touch input. If you’re curious like me, your instinct might be to double-click the “Calibration Tool” icon located on the desktop just to see what it does. My recommendation is to leave it alone unless you already have your calibration board and you really need to recalibrate your unit.

The best thing to do if you are experiencing any kind of touch performance issues with your unit is to first run the Environmental Light Optimizer tool (instructions here) and see if there are any light sources that may be causing issues. Samsung also provides a Venue Readiness Guide (found here) that has recommendations on optimal lighting which can also help.

Some customers have noted receiving SUR40 units without calibration boards. The good thing is that most units won’t need to be re-calibrated for at least 1,000 hours; as they come calibrated from the factory. Customers that haven’t yet received calibration boards should be getting them from Samsung in the days ahead – well ahead of most customers ever needing them.



Comments (27)

  1. F2 says:

    They opened the box upside down!! Sacrilege!

  2. Brian D says:

    I actually studied at RGU back in the late 80's/early 90's when the hardware they used was a honeywell mainframe and network booted PCs with dos and kermit. Oh how things have changed….

  3. Dominik says:

    Hi James, thanks for the clarification – although I was curious enough to click the icon, I luckily cancelled the calibration process before it was too late :)!

    I have a different question for you: Can I tell the Surface (or Windows) to ignore all non-finger input/blobs? Currently, hovering or sleeves touching the surface are treated as touch input and make the cursor jump. From looking at the touch visualizer I know, however, that the Surface is aware of that these are not fingers. How to ignore them on a system level?


  4. peyman says:

    Hi james.

    I have two is about the tag recognition o the sur40.

    Tag ability to recognize tags is the major advantage of the surface from other multitouch devices.

    Comparing the tag recognition with the surface1 we noticed,that the sur40 is massivly worse in detecting tags,specially when they are moved on the sur40.

    Take a look at this video we made:

    You see, that the datavisualisation tool is assigning a new ID to the tag almost every second,which means the tag is lost each time. The surface 1 had propper and solid tag recognition.

    Are there plans to improve that?

    Samsung claims,that tag recognition has to be fixes by microsoft.

    My 2nd question is about the touch input and calibration.

    we read that others are struggling with tag detection as well and had a slight improvement afer calibrating the sur40.since almost no obe received the calibrationboard with the unit,people cibrated the unit with flipchara Nd doormats.we tried that as well and now we don't have any touches at all on the sur40.

    We reinstalled windows and even a samsung service guy was at our office.nothing helped.

    What can we do to reset the calibration?

    Thanks for you reply.

  5. Gee says:

    Hi James, I need to buy the Microsoft Surface to use in Brazil. Do you know If there's any retail there or any way to buy it? Anyway, in time, I am able to travel to buy in the US, so in New York city or any other city, where do you think can I buy? Pls, send me a message when you can. My e mail is  Cheers.

  6. @Dominik Thanks for your question, you can disable Surface touch input in Windows Mode with the following steps:

    1. Go to the "Pen and Touch" settings in the Windows Control Panel.

    2. Click on the "Touch" tab.

    3. Ensure "Use your finger as an input device" is unchecked.

    4. Click "OK"

    Surface touch input in Windows Mode can be re-enabled by ensuring the "Use your finger as an input device" is checked.

  7. @peyman We expect that tag tracking (movement) will not be the same on SUR40 as it was with Surface 1.0. Identifiying the tag value should be about the same and some developers are finding that using the unique tag value (e.g.: FF, 3C, etc…) is a more effective means of tracking objects than using the tag ID (e.g.: 38420598293). Building a little more of a buffer into the tag visualization, and basing the visualization on the tag value, rather than the tag ID (which changes more frequently). We will have a whitepaper out soon that will help explain this in much better detail.

    As to your second question, I think I can best help you address that by contacting you directly. Is there a prefered way to reach you?

  8. peyman says:

    hi james. thanks a lot for your answere.

    you can reach me at

    I am glad for any help.

    concerning the tag ID vs. tag value.

    we are using the sdk's build in tagvisualization class.

    we also have increased the buffer. but the main difference is, that when dragging tagged objects around on the surface, the visualization is trailing very strongly. the visualization is literally "jumping" to reach the tagged object.

    with the video of the tag ID's I just wanted to show you, that in contrast to the surface1 the ID is lost instantly when moving the tag. on the surface 1 this did not happen at all.  therefor the visualization was always directly under the tagged, no matter how fast you moved it.

    do you know what I am trying to explain?

    also spinning that tagged object on the same spot causes the sdk to loose the tag (and fading the visualisation out, than catching it again and fading it back in).

    is there any way to get the same performence and usability like on the surface 1?

    thanks for your support and help.

  9. Ryan says:

    @James –

    We are having a similar issue to peyman – we went through the calibration without the board and now we have lost most of the touch input (works in the bottom left corner, but that's about it).

    Can you contact me at and give me any input on how to reset the surface calibration?


  10. Jacob Davidsen says:

    Can you contact me at and give me any input on how to reset the surface calibration?



  11. peyman says:

    In addition to my last post.

    As I said before, we are using the TagVisualization Class. While moveing around the tag on the sur40, the TagVisualization.LostTag Event gets triggered.

  12. Furr says:

    Any chance you could publish some tips on how to fix a bad calibration (without the board)? I am in the same situation as others.

  13. markp says:

    Had to disable touch.

    With finger touch enabled the mouse jumps all around and touch not working in winmdows 7 mode.

    No calibration bioard with unit (how annoying).

    Is it calibration, light or a malfunction?

    How would i pin it down or fix.

  14. peyman says:

    Hi james,

    we worked our ways around the tag recognition.

    but waht is really important, is that you tell us how to get the touches running again, after a bad calibration.

    could you please contact me on that issue?

  15. Koro says:

    We received our new SUR40 today but are a bit disappointed at the basic touch performance.

    It is much slower then the Surface 1.0, their seems to be a large lag in touch detection as objects are dragged serveral inches behind the finger even when moving my hand very slow.

    Also hands or sleevs hovering above the surface are detected as touches, which did not happen on the old version.  This is very annoying, because we have to tell our users that they cannot really sit around the screen and have their arms resting on the screen. When using a scatterview with multiple people objects start randomling moving around the screen because of this.

    When I also hear the tag-recognition is not as good as the previous version I am wondering if such things will be improved by updates. We did not yet performa a calibration because we did not receive a board. I guess we need to contact Samsung about that?

  16. Jason Lackey says:

    Guys, you probably should include some verbage in the calibration tool that says something about the fact that running calibrate without having the calibration board handy will effectively trash the device. It would also be nice if the Samsung SUR40 shipped with said board. Not real good to ship a product that is fairly likely to disable itself when the user does reasonably expected things.

  17. Better yet, a way to restore the previous calibration would be nice.  I didn't receive a calibration board either.

    I'm also quite disappointed with the response time of the SUR40/Surface 2 compared to the original Surface, and especially compared to my Samsung Developer Preview tablet running Win8.  I'm afraid that technology is moving so fast that the Surface 2 already feels dated; the first comment I get from usability testing is "my iPad doesn't lag like this".  I can't blame it on WPF either, as the XNA scatterview sample has similar issues–dragged objects trail the user's fingers by as much as a foot sometimes.  Any chance of improvement in touch response from software upgrades in the future?  

  18. Nikolai says:


    Our SUR40 Surface 2 unit did not come with a calibration board. Where can we get one? It the Surface 2 calibration board the same as the Surface 1 calibration board? Can we download a file and print a board out ourselves?



  19. Ronny says:

    Hi James,

    sorry for being another one who brings this issue up, but we just received a Surface 2-table which is very badly calibrated. Touch does not work and we also do not have a calibration board for recalbration. Can you contact me about fixing this issue? At this price, one should really expect to have a calibration board shipped with the table. I hope you can help. Please contact me at:

    Greetings from Dresden University of Technology.

  20. Rees says:

    Hi we have recieved an SUR40 without a calibration board and accidentally went through the process without it and have now lost calibration.

    Is there a way to restore default calibration?

  21. Hon says:


    In window 7 mode, the mouse does not response in the normal way, always jumps to one corner of the screen therefore difficult to do any operations. Then somehow it becomes normal. Then  jumps again.

    After restarting, still the same.


    Does this mean  that calibration is needed?

  22. Adel says:

    the local distributer  provided me the calibration sheet, but still the response is not ok, during presentations the SUR 40 responds to the audions movements   (without physical touch) that causes a miss during the presentation.

  23. Hi,

    I don't have any board to calibrate it. And we didn't receive from Samsung any board within the following days.

    I have send an email to Samsung support department to request it.

    Any advice to obtain one?


  24. Srehman says:

    Hi James,

    we have received our SUR40 without a calibration board and accidentally went through the process without it and have now lost calibration.

    Is there a way to restore default calibration?

  25. rahjmains says:

    James,  I have noticed here that people were requesting ways to restore the calibration data after a bad calibration/not using a calibration board.  Is there a way to save calibration data following a good calibration and exporting the saved calibration data like you could with Surface V1, or is there a way to restore the factory settings of the calibration?  

  26. Sagar Jhobalia says:

    We received a Surface 2.0 without a calibration board. Like so many here,I calibrated it without the board. Now nothing works!

    Can you help me James.

    My id is

  27. MKa says:

    our SUR40 also came without a calibration board. Someone try to calibrate it without it an now it is a mess.

    can you help us ?